Scottish last names are a great insight into the country’s rich history. Similar to Irish last names, their origins began with the Gaelic clan system that reigned the land. So there’s overlap between each country’s traditional surnames, but you can usually tell the differences by slight spelling variations. Scotland is more than its unique names, though. It is also a country dedicated to wisdom, justice, integrity, and compassion. It is filled with different nationalities and cultures and is socially committed to fairness and equality. In Scotland, diversity is considered a strength within their culture. In modern Scotland especially, they consider themselves to be a multi-belief and cultural country. The people of Scotland value respect for others and different practices and beliefs. Kindness and politeness are key to their social expectations as well.
Socially, Scots are considered very friendly, and humorous banter and sports talk are common. It’s also customary to invite someone over for tea or coffee or bring sweets for home visits. Scotland also has a huge appreciation for literature and graphic and performance art. The ability to tell a good and enticing story is viewed as a skill.
Scotland is clearly the country of positivity vibes only, so if you’ve ever wondered whether your last name has Scottish or Irish roots, we’ve got you covered! Take a look at our list of Scottish last names with their Scots Gaelic spellings and meanings.
If you’re interested in the last names and meanings of other countries, check out our package on last names from around the world. See how many you recognize: French, Russian, Spanish, Mexican, Brazilian, Portuguese, Italian, Welsh, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and African last names, among others.
Common Scottish Last Names
Scottish spelling: Mac a’ Ghobhainn
Meaning: Son of the blacksmith.
Scottish spelling: Brùn
Meaning: The color brown, traditionally in reference to someone of dark hair or complexion.
Scottish spelling: Mac an Ollaimh
Meaning: Son of the learned man/son of the master poet.
Scottish spelling: Mac a’ Chléirich
Meaning: Son of the clerk.
Scottish spelling: Maoileanach/Maolanach
Meaning: Son of the tonsure.
Scottish spelling: Buchanan/Buchannon/Buchanon
Meaning: House of the canon.
Scottish spelling: Breathnach
Scottish spelling: Bhàsa
Meaning: Generally referring to a servant or serf, or death.
Scottish spelling: Mac an Rìgh
Meaning: Son of the king.
Scottish spelling: Gòrdan/Gòrdanach
Meaning: Large fortress.
Scottish spelling: Leamhanach/Leamhnach
Meaning: Elm tree.
Scottish spelling: Blàr
Meaning: Plain or field.
Scottish spelling: Lìos
Meaning: Fields or pasture.
Scottish spelling: Mac a’ Ghoill
Meaning: Son of the stranger.
Scottish spelling: Mac an Ruaidh
Meaning: Son of the red-haired.
Scottish spelling: MacCàba/Mac Aba
Meaning: Son of the helmeted warrior or son of the abbot.
Scottish spelling: Stiùbhart
Meaning: Warden of the hall.
Scottish spelling: Ualas
Meaning: Foreigner or Welshman.
Scottish spelling: Rothach
Meaning: Man from the River Roe.
Scottish spelling: MacCòmhain/MacEoghain
Meaning: Son of the yew tree.
Scottish spelling: Mac an t-Sealgair
Meaning: Son of the hunter.
Scottish spelling: Mac an Fhleisteir
Scottish spelling: Mac a’ Mhaighstir
Meaning: Son of the cleric/master.
Scottish spelling: Gilios/Gill’Iosa
Meaning: Servant of Jesus.
Scottish spelling: Brothaigh
Meaning: Muddy place or steep place.
Scottish spelling: Coineagan
Meaning: Rabbit’s home.
Scottish spelling: Foirbeis
Meaning: Field or district.
Scottish spelling: Mac Dhuibh/Dubhach
Meaning: Son of the black-haired.
Scottish spelling: Curraigh/Mac’Uirigh
Scottish spelling: Buidheach
Meaning: Yellow or fair-haired.
Scottish spelling: Abarcrumbach
Meaning: Confluence of rivers at a bend, or mouth of the bendy river.
Scottish spelling: MacAlasdair
Meaning: Protector of mankind.
Scottish spelling: Cambeul
Meaning: Crooked mouth.
Scottish spelling: Fionnlagh
Meaning: Fair hero.
Scottish spelling: MacAdam
Meaning: Son of Adam.
Scottish spelling: MacAilpein
Meaning: Son of Alpin, or son of the blonde one.
Scottish spelling: MacDhugaill, Mac Dubhghaill
Meaning: Son of Dougal, dark stranger.
Scottish spelling: Mac Gille Iosa, Gillies
Meaning: Son of the servant of Jesus.
Scottish spelling: Macfhearghus
Meaning: Son of the angry one.
Scottish spelling: O’Dochartaigh
Meaning: Hurtful or obstructive.
Scottish spelling: MacAsgaill
Meaning: Cauldron of sacrifice to the gods.
Scottish spelling: Mac Gille Chalium
Meaning: Son of the servant of Columbia (with Columbia meaning “dove”).
Scottish spelling: Mac Gille Fhiondaig
Meaning: Son of the servant of Saint Findon.
Scottish spelling: Mac Phaiden
Meaning: Son of little Patrick.
Scottish spelling: Mac Duibshithe
Meaning: Son of Dubshithe (with Duibshithe meaning “dark peace”).
Scottish spelling: Àird
Meaning: Foreigner or Welshman.
Scottish spelling: Atzinson
Meaning: Red earth.
Scottish spelling: Gail
Meaning: A flock of geese.
Scottish spelling: Gallchobhair/Gallchobhar
Meaning: Foreign help.
Scottish spelling: Hagen
Meaning: Youthful one.
Scottish spelling: Ainsleigh
Meaning: One’s own meadow, alone, solitary, woodland, or clearing.
Scottish spelling: Colquhoun
Meaning: Nook or corner.
Scottish spelling: Colquhoun
Meaning: Bent leg or hook.
Scottish spelling: Cunmin/Cumin/Comyn
Meaning: Bent or crooked.
Scottish spelling: Dubhghlas
Meaning: Dark river, water, or grey, green.
Scottish spelling: Drumainn/Druim
Scottish spelling: Leamhnachd
Meaning: Place of elms.
Scottish spelling: Bathket
Meaning: Habitational name from a place in West Lothian.
Scottish spelling: Abirnethie
Meaning: Originating from Abernethy in southeastern Perthshire. The surname is of Pictish origin, meaning ‘mouth of the river Nethy’.
Scottish spelling: Alncromb
Meaning: Name originating from a place in Roxburghshire.
Scottish spelling: Cliathadh
Meaning: A person who harrowed cultivated land.
Scottish spelling: Haxton
Meaning: A name for someone from Lothiam, originally Hawkerton (land owned by king’s falconer).
Scottish spelling: Atkinson
Meaning: Son of Atkin.
Scottish spelling: Allaway
Meaning: From a Scottish place name, derived from alla, meaning “wild,” and mhagh, meaning “field.”
Scottish spelling: Barkeley
Meaning: One’s own meadow, solitary, or clearing.
Scottish spelling: Bel
Meaning: Someone who comes from a family who made bells or rang church bells.
Scottish spelling: Ciaran
Meaning: Dark hair or skin.
Scottish spelling: Blackwode
Meaning: Someone who is from the Blackwood region of Scotland.
Scottish spelling: Boece
Meaning: Wood or the last name of a family who lives near the woods.
Scottish spelling: McBrain
Scottish spelling: Mac an Bhreitheamham
Meaning: People who are from Braid in South Edinburgh.
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